Public Holidays in South America – 2021
South America is known for its rich culture, history, and vibrant festivities. In addition, the continent celebrates various public holidays throughout the year. Some of these celebrations are national holidays, while others are specific to certain regions, religions, or communities. Let’s take a look at the public holidays that South America will celebrate in 2021.
New Year’s Day – January 1st, 2021
Like most other countries across the world, South Americans start the year with a bang by celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1st. People generally spend time with their family and friends, indulge in food and drinks, and attend various festivities in cities and towns. The celebrations of New Year’s Eve, called “Año Nuevo” in Spanish, are especially popular in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
Easter – April 4th, 2021
Easter is a significant holiday in South America, marked by the end of the Lenten season. The week leading up to Easter Sunday is called Holy Week, and people participate in numerous processions and ceremonies. In Brazil, the world’s largest Catholic country, Easter is celebrated with great fervor. The country’s traditional Easter Parade, held in Rio de Janeiro, is an important tourist attraction.
Labour Day – May 1st, 2021
Labour Day is celebrated in South America as International Workers’ Day, commemorating the contributions of workers worldwide. In Brazil, the day is celebrated with parades, speeches, and demonstrations by labor unions and other organizations. Argentina has a different custom where people exchange vine twigs as a symbol of friendship, while Chileans enjoy live outdoor concerts and performances.
Battle of Pichincha – May 24th, 2021
This holiday is celebrated exclusively in Ecuador, commemorating the Battle of Pichincha, which happened on May 24th, 1822. It was the decisive battle fought in the war of independence and led to the liberation of Ecuador from Spanish colonial rule. Ecuadorians celebrate this day by taking part in patriotic parades and festivals.
Independence Day – July 20th, 2021
July 20th marks the independence day of Colombia, commemorating the day in 1810 when the country began the fight for freedom from Spanish colonial rule. Colombians celebrate this day with great patriotic fervor, staging parades, concerts, and fireworks displays.
Assumption of Mary – August 15th, 2021
Assumption of Mary is also known as the Feast of the Assumption and is celebrated in predominantly Catholic countries worldwide. South American countries that observe this day include Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Paraguay. People attend church services, and some cities stage public celebrations with performances, music, and dance.
All Saints’ Day – November 1st, 2021
All Saints’ Day or Dia de Los Santos is observed on November 1st in many South American countries, particularly in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia. The day remembers the loved ones who have departed, and people visit their graves and honor their memory. Some people create offerings and offerings in a tradition called “Ofrenda.”
Christmas Day – December 25th, 2021
The end of the year is marked by Christmas celebrations around the world, and South America is no exception. Most countries in South America observe Christmas Day as a public holiday, with distinct regional customs and traditions. Brazil is particularly famous for its extravagant celebration, marked by fireworks, street performances, and other festivities.
South America is a diverse region with a rich cultural heritage and history. The public holidays celebrated in the continent reflect this diversity, and each country has its distinct customs and traditions. If you are visiting South America in 2021, be sure to include one or more of these celebrations on your itinerary to get an authentic experience of the continent.
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